Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) outcomes from CommunicAsia 2015

CommunicAsia at Marina Bay Sands Hotel, SingaporeTraveling to Singapore is always a good idea. But it’s especially good for the week of CommunicAsia, Asia’s leading infocomm technology and broadcasting industry event. CommunicAsia, along with EnterpriseIT and BroadcastAsia hosted more than 48,000 attendees from 101 countries and regions.
Conference themes focused on harnessing technology to better connect cities, governments, enterprises and consumers. I was pleased to see increased focus on Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) in a variety of use cases.

Here’s a bit of what we saw and learned at the show, through our MEC looking glasses, of course.

Premium Content for CDNs

Roaming the exhibition floor we got to visit the booths of some of the world’s leading CDN companies, including Akamai and CDNetworks. For Content Delivery Networks MEC based solutions offer superb user experience and economic use of the network. With Saguna’s platform content providers can optimize content delivery closer to mobile users, reduce latency and increase delivery speed while preserving mobility and complete core network functionality.

The Story of Satellite

In the Satellite sector, we have seen some of the Leading Satellite vendors as exhibitors in the event, including Gilat Satellite Networks, O3B Networks, IDirect, and Comtech EF Data.

It is no surprise to find these leading players here. The Satellite sector is highly interested in Mobile Edge Computing, and our conversations with these players eventually led to the conclusion, that it is a ‘must have’ for those who wish to not only survive, but also thrive. The satellite link being used to content residing at the edge of the network is an expensive cost, and the latency is high. Distributing the computational power closer to where users are will have a significant positive effect on operational costs and user experience in this sector.

CommunicAsia event

The story of Satellite will be told based on the vision and boldness of its executives to venture beyond its current sector borders. Once they explore additional services and applications, new revenue opportunities will be open to them. As Intelsat’s chief executive stated for the official Daily Show magazine “Satellite must look beyond its own horizons for growth”.

IOT and Smart Cities

Another vertical that would greatly benefit from the standardization of MEC is the Internet of things and smart cities. But overall demand for IOT functionality has been slow. The daily quotes that “Only 30% of heavy industrial equipment is networked. And only 10% of smart TVs are being used for Internet viewing.”

The slow demand can be attributed to the fact that a lot of the functionality heavily relies on connectivity features to consumer devices. Take for example smart cities, where real time response and connectivity is required to consumer devices and vehicles. These use cameras, smart sensors and computational power, which should ideally reside as close as possible to users, at the edge of the network. To run smoothly, Smart cities require a great deal of fast connectivity and real time response to regulate traffic, offer indoor navigation, and a lot more.

Until the next CommunicAsia

Having seen all of these new usability cases for MEC makes us proud in our part of making it all come true. As part of the standardization group, we are a part of shaping this near future where MEC can serve to enhance a lot of the offerings to mobile customers, and to the entire industry.
By next year’s CommunicAsia, we hope to see these use cases come alive.